In the News: Harlem Legend Dies at 93 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

The South Carolina native who opened the first black-owned business on 125th Street died on Friday at the age of 93.

Bobby Robinson opened Bobby’s Happy House in 1946 and sparked six decades of music history in Harlem. Five years after the shop opened, Robinson launched several record labels–Red Robin, Whirlin’ Disc, Fire, Fury and Enjoy.

The local business connoisseur has worked with legendary artists such as Gladys Knight and the Pips and Elmore James, and he became one of the first label owners to record rap music, working with artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Spoonie Gee and Dougie Fresh.

Robinson moved the shop from the original location in the late 1990s, but closed for good on Jan. 21, 2008, due to redevelopment plans issued by the landlord.

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Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina,,, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.